And the crown prince's effort to boost the private sector is strangely centralised.
Even the promotion of entertainment is run by a government agency.
His focus on "giga-projects", notably plans to build NEOM, a futuristic city in the north-west with separate laws, looks mega-risky.
Previous attempts to carve out copycat versions of Dubai,
the business and tourism hub in the UAE, have been a disappointment.
The King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh stands almost empty.
Instead of planning a dream city, the crown prince should aim to make all of Saudi Arabia a bit more like Dubai,
open to the world, friendly to business, efficiently run, socially liberal,religiously tolerant and, above all, governed by a predictable system of laws.
His decision to lock up hundred softy coons, of-ficials and princes arbitrarily in a gilded Saudi hotel last year in an "anti-corruption campaign" frightened investors.
He should also study the UAE's federalism.
The loose union of seven emirates in 1971 may be unique,
but a country as large and diverse as Saudi Arabia has much to gain from devolving power.
It would let different parts of the country express their identities more freely
and adapt religious rules to their traditions，
more relaxed in Jeddah, more strict inland in Riyadh and allowing more space for Shias in the east.
It would also permit experimentation with economic reforms.
Above all, it could lead to forms of local representation.
In carrying out his transformation, Prince Muhammad is weakening the old pillars of Al Saud rule,
the princes, the clericsand the businessmen.
Democracy can help him build a new base of legitimacy.
The crown prince could turn his popularity among the young and women into a political force.
That would help him in what is likely to be a long reign once he becomes king.
Right now, he is on the road to becoming another Arab strong man.
As the Arab spring showed, autocracy is brittle.
Better to become a new sort of Arab monarch: one who treats his people as citizens, not subjects.